[b-greek] Re: MNHMONEUW

From: Carl W. Conrad (cwconrad@artsci.wustl.edu)
Date: Fri Feb 15 2002 - 08:31:28 EST

At 2:51 PM -0700 2/14/02, lance w seevers wrote:
>What is the sense behind the different usages of MNHMONEUW? Do some
>authors use it with the accusative case and others with the genitive?
>I have the second edition BAGD. It does show the distinction in usage.
>Under the accusative heading it has with a person and also with a thing.
>Under the genitive it also has with a person and with a thing. Is there
>difference in meaning?

I'm looking at BDAG and I've also checked LSJ; my sense is that this verb,
like some other verbs of mental activity and perception, tends most
normally to be used with a genitive complement but is sometimes and by some
authors used with an accusative. I suspect that the genitive usage is
originally partitive, as when we say "I remember [something of that]" or
"He did make mention [of them]."
With a verb like AKOUW one also tends to find usage with both genitive and
accusative, but there it's usually genitive of 'sources' heard ("we heard
from them ... ") and accusative of items/information learned from the
hearing ("we heard that ..."). So, I believe, MNHMONEUW is used with both
cases, whereas the related and more common verb for "remember" MIMNHSKOMAI
is used almost exclusively with the genitive case, but occasionally with
"accusative of the thing." For MNHMONEUW it may be helpful to bear in mind
that it is a "denominative" verb derived from the adjective MNHMWN
("mindful") and may be deemed mostly intransitive ("be mindful of").

This is an area of usage/syntax about which I'd note that human behavior is
just simply not wholly consistent: a pattern is observed in the usage
(tendency to use the genitive case with such verbs) but it is not observed
universally by all speakers/writers of the language and every exceptional
usage is not readily explicable. That's my view, though it would hardly
surprise me to find others in disagreement with me over this view.

Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University (Emeritus)
Most months:: 1647 Grindstaff Road/Burnsville, NC 28714/(828) 675-4243
cwconrad@artsci.wustl.edu OR cwconrad@ioa.com
WWW: http://www.artsci.wustl.edu/~cwconrad/

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